In his new years speech for 2007, Norwegian King Harald said (in Norwegian):
Mye i livet er viktig, men mon tro om vi ikke trenger å ta oss mer tid til å snakke sammen? I gamle dager hadde de butikken og kirkebakken, – møtesteder for den gode pratens skyld. I dag har vi mobiltelefonen, “Facebook” og “chatte-rom”. Det er det samme hva det kalles, men vi trenger dialogen. Vi trenger den gode samtalen. Ja, vi trenger hele spekteret av samtaler, fra den store samfunnsdebatten – til den lille, lavmælte hverdagspraten. Det er gjerne slik at først når vi har snakket sammen, ser vi hverandre.
My English translation:
There are many things in life that’s important, but I wonder if we may have to spend more time to talk to each other? In the “old days” they had the shop and the church, meeting places for the good conversation. Today we have the mobile phone, Facebook and chatrooms. It’s the same what we call it, but we need the dialog. We need the good conversation. Yes, we need the whole spectre of conversations, from the big important issues in society to the little quiet everyday talk. When we have spoken together, we see each other.
Feel free to comment and improve on my translation!
The conversation society
I do admire our king for talking about this. He seems to understand the shift that has happened. We do not just talk “in real life”, but use internet as a communication tool. We have switched from the “information superhighway” to the social web. It’s an important change, and it will make our society better in the long run.
Have a happy new year and see you both in real life and on the web. You’ll find me on Facebook, Twitter and most other social networks – just see the sidebar to the right.
Watch the king’s speech on NRKs web-tv here.